Behind the Scenes of the Largest Role in Golf Club Management

By: Francisco de Lancastre David - Cluster General Manager - Troon October 7, 2019

With Troon having recently announced their partnership in the Middle East with Yas Links Abu Dhabi, the number of properties that they oversee in this region has reached 17, a truly impressive figure.

If we look more specifically into Abu Dhabi, they manage three clubs, with Yas Links Abu Dhabi now joining Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club under the Troon remit. 

Francisco de Lancastre David, recently appointed as the new Cluster General Manager for all three clubs, talks exclusively to Golf Business Monitor about what his new role has in store.

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club 9th &18th golf club management

In new golf club management role

My new role will be to effectively manage the day-to-day of the cluster of golf clubs under the Aldar portfolio and Troon management in Abu Dhabi.

Working to merge these three clubs and make sure that they are running to their maximum efficiency with superior standards is a large job.

I am extremely excited with the opportunity that our ownership group and Troon have extended to me.

I understand the responsibility that this role carries, and I am extremely focused on delivering the vision and the goals that we have set for all three clubs.

We are very fortunate that we have great teams in all three properties in Abu Dhabi and everyone is very excited about this consolidation and how we can take the clubs to the next level.

Having a strong team behind me is crucial in making this transition period successful and having worked with many of these associates before I am truly confident in their abilities.

With the support from our ownership and Troon, we will ensure the transition is as smooth as possible and that the clubs do not suffer at all in the coming months.

Our main short-term goal is to consolidate operations at all three of the clubs and ensure that our members and guests start benefiting straight away from the synergies created with this consolidation.

Whilst consolidation is significant, we strongly believe that is it important for each club to also have their own.

With a dedicated team to support, this is a very achievable goal and will ensure that golfers in the region have their requirements met.

Troon's International Division Francisco de Lancastre David golf club management

Future plans

Looking ahead, we are also in the middle of creating one website for all three clubs which will have a central reservations team to help with all enquires and bookings.

This will allow for a more streamlined procedure when it comes to booking tee times, freeing up more time for the team to push forward with other enquires.

In the long term, we want to improve the visibility that Abu Dhabi has in the golfing market.

Even though it is currently one of the top international destinations, we can always be doing more to help entice people to play our fantastic courses.

Abu Dhabi is a tremendous golf destination in our opinion. We have three world-class golf courses:

  1. Abu Dhabi Golf Club with its iconic Falcon Clubhouse and Championship Course,
  2. Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, a true beachfront masterpiece designed by golfing legend Gary Player and
  3. Yas Links Abu Dhabi, ranked #44 golf course in the world and designed by Kyle Philips, makes for an outstanding offer of golf courses.

Further driving golf tourism to Abu Dhabi, we have had our teams visiting Eastern European countries, China and London to further inform the industry about what the region has to offer.

We will also be attending the International Golf Travel Market Convention (IGTM) from 14-17 October.

The yearly event features over 420 buyers from 42 countries, making it the ultimate meeting place for global golf travel professionals from all comers of the world, to meet and effectively grow their business.

The convention will allow us to further consolidate all three clubs whilst showcasing what Abu Dhabi has to offer the rest of the world, besides the amazing golf.

View from the 12th hole at Yas Links Abu Dhabi golf club management

Troon’s plans in the region

If we combine this with the weather, accessibility and the quality of the hotels Abu Dhabi has to offer, we have an extremely strong proposition to any golf traveler.

We also shouldn’t forget the amazing entertainment and cultural offering that Abu Dhabi offers; with the likes of the Louvre museum and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; or the world-class theme parks such as the Ferrari World or the Warner Brothers just to name a few.

We also envision that Troon’s work across all three clubs will expand our portfolio presence, by providing extraordinary guest and member experiences and by having a passionate dedication to quality, financial performance, and development of our associates.

These are the key visions of Troon and have underpinned our success in the MENA region, something which we will strive to continue at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

If we are successful in reaching these goals it will be a great achievement and will be a testament to all the hard work and planning that has gone into this partnership by Troon and the ownership group.

Looking forward to the year ahead, we are ensuring all three clubs are ready for a notably successful season, with a full calendar of member events and international events such as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, 16-19 January 2020.  

It’s always a great honor to be part of major events and especially with the caliber of events we welcome every year at our facilities.

We are already working on many facets with all stakeholders involved to ensure we continue to raise the bar each year, not only to the players but also to all patrons that come out and support these events.

The next few months in Abu Dhabi will be very busy as we look to action our goals across the three clubs, however, I am confident that it will be a successful period of time and that my team will do me proud.

View of the iconic Falcon Clubhouse at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from 9th hole golf club management